Former Border Patrol chief dies

October 27, 2009 5:45:31 PM PDT
Former U.S. Border Patrol chief Gustavo De La Vina, who worked to tighten the flow of illegal immigrants into the country, has died.U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Steve Cribby said De La Vina died Monday in the Balkan nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he worked as a private advisor.

The Edinburg, Texas, native joined the Border Patrol in 1970 at the Eagle Pass, Texas, port of entry. He rose through the ranks to become chief of the Border Patrol in December 1997 and remained in that post until his 2004 retirement.

As patrol chief, he created the Border Safety Initiative to warn would-be illegal immigrants of the dangers of such border crossings and searches for illegal immigrants in distress in deserts and other often-deadly environments.

He was 70 years old.

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